Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The Oscars: Thoughts, not Predictions
1. Nick Nolte?
2. There is still one Best Picture nominee I haven't seen, but the fact that the Academy produced 9 out of a possible 10 nominees in the first year when a minimum percentage of votes was required indicates there's no clear-cut choice. The winner will have a small percentage of votes and that means an upset is possible. Assuming The Artist and The Descendants are the favorites then my upset choices are Hugo and The Help.
3. I'm pleased to see Gary Oldman nominated for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but the race is between Clooney and Pitt. My bet is that the idea The Descendants is more "serious" and that Clooney is stretching will prove the difference, never mind that Moneyball is the better movie.
4. The indifferent reaction to The Iron Lady will spell trouble for Meryl Streep, and I think the obvious favorite at the moment is Viola Davis. I'd love to see Michelle Williams win but I don't know if she has been burned enough times to create a Kate Winslet-like idea that "this is her year." Rooney Mara's nomination also hurts Williams the most. Much respect to Glenn Close.
5. One of the races in which a "campaign" might make the difference is Best Supporting Actor; the Best Picture nomination of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close means the studio will throw money behind the movie. That helps Max Von Sydow against Christopher Plummer, who's on his own with Beginners. Both roles seem ideal for Oscar's attention; Plummer is wise, angry, and backward-looking while the novelty of Von Sydow's wordless performance will pull some votes. I can't see any of the the other nominees winning.
6. Jessica Chastain received an Oscar nomination for the wrong movie. I suppose Octavia Spencer is the favorite for Supporting Actress, but there's a movement for Melissa McCarthy that I'm thinking will may put her over the top. McCarthy will be the evening's "surprise".
7. Finally, the Tree of Life has an excellent chance in cinematography and a slight chance in directing. We can hope.